a cemetary at night
1. Reading comprehension. Read the text carefully before answering the questions below.
One night long ago in a small midwestern town, two men stole a sack of potatoes. They thought that the best place to divide
the potatoes would be at the cemetery. There nobody would be
likely to see them.
Young Bill Brown happened to pass the cemetery on his way home. He heard a voice and stopped to listen. It was too dark
to see anyone, but he heard the voice say, "I'll take this one,
and you take that one."
"Mercy!" Bill thought. "I believe that God and the Devil are in the cemetery dividing up the souls. I'll run home and tell Father
Bill ran home as fast as he could. He thought that the end of the end of the world must be at hand. He thought that God had
come to judge which people he would take and which ones the Devil would get. When he got home, Bill was breathless from
"Father," he cried, "God and the Devil are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls. I believe the Day of Judgement has come!"
"What makes you think that?" asked his father in great surprise.
"I heard God talking to the Devil," answered Bill in an excited voice.
"What did you hear Him say ?" asked his father. Bill told him.
"You must be wrong," said Bill's father. "Oh, Father," said Bill, "I couldn't be wrong. I heard Him with my own ears. Come
and listen for yourself."
"All right," said the father. "But if you are not telling the truth, it will be hard on you tomorrow."
Bill and his father hurried to the cemetery. They stood by the fence, well out of sight. In the darkness, they heard the voice say,
"I'll take this one, and you take that one."
"Didn't I tell you?" whispered Bill to his father.The men had almost finished dividing their stolen potatoes. They remembered
that they had lost two potatoes by the fence. When they had only two potatoes left, the man who was counting said,
"I'll take these two and you take the two by the fence."
That was not good news to Bill and his father. "I am not anxious to be taken by the Devil," said Bill's father. "Neither am I."
replied Bill. So they left for home. For some reason both started running
and were quite tired from it when they arrived home. But neither Bill nor his father slept very well that night.
Questions and tasks
1.1. Find a title for this text.
1.2. Where does the story take place?
1.3. Which are the main characters?
1.4. What are they doing?
1.5. Why did Bill and his father not sleep well that night?
1.6. Why do the last lines of the text make us smile?
2. Conjunctions. Combine the following pairs of sentences by using as, after, because, since or when.
2.1. Two thieves stole a sack of potatoes. They wanted to divide them at the cemetery.
2.2. They thought the cemetery would be the best place for doing that. Nobody would be likely to see them there.
2.3. Young Bill Brown passed the cemetery on his way home. He heard a voice and stopped to listen.
2.4. Bill got home. He was breathless from running.
2.5. Bill and his father hurried to the cemetery. They stopped at the fence, well out of sight.
2.6. The men had almost finished dividing their stolen potatoes. They remembered that they had lost two potatoes by the fence.
2.7. Bill and his father heard this. They quickly left for home.
2.8. They were running fast. They were quite tired when they arrived home.